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Full text of "A search in secret Egypt"

IN THE PEACE OF OLD ABYDOS          159
quietly upon the soul do we enter into intimate union with Happiness, with Wisdom and with divine Power.
I squatted comfortably in my little wall-niche, as perhaps some brown priest of the temple had squatted in it a hundred genera-dons ago, and let its gentle influence rest upon me like a spell. Oh! it was good to be alone for a while and forget the many noises which progress had brought in inexorable attendance upon its many benefits; it was good, too, to forget the gross selfishness, inevitable misunderstandings, unworthy hatreds and bitter jealousies which would raise their heads, cobra-like, to spit and strike when one returned to the world of un-illumined men.
Why should one return, I wondered?
We regard loneliness as a curse, but, achieving wisdom, we learn to look upon it as a blessing. We must climb the Mount Everests of our dreams and become accustomed to Jiving among the pinnacles of loneliness. For if among the. crowds we search for soul, we find only soullessness; if we look for truth, we discover mostly insincerity.
Society is of the soul, not of the body. We may spend an evening in a large drawing-room, filled with forty people, and yet move as lonely as though we were in the Sahara. Bodies may come near to one another, but while hearts and minds remain distant we are still, each of us, alone. Someone thinks it his duty to invite us to his house, thanks to the rules of a formal etiquette; we arrive but our host is not there to receive us. He has merely left his body behind to meet us, knowing well that the gulf between our minds is too broad to induce him to stay. An introduction to such a man will do everything else except introduce us. Whom God hath put asunder, let no man join together!
I have taken a ticket for the Celestial Empire, that grand country to which our petty and trivial news does not percolate. Am I then a hater of my fellows? How can he be said to be a misanthrope, who plays with little children and shares his pence with the poor?
Why not remain apart and accept the proffered blessings of a solitary retired existence, free from unnecessary anxieties, in calm places such as this sanctuary at Abydos?
We fling our scorn at the man who deserts society to seek a higher life, though perhaps he retires only that he may return to impart some good news to his race For memory brought